Wednesday, September 7, 2011

20 Dinners, 1 Day: Creamy Chicken with Soft Polenta

Photo courtesy of Rachel Ray Magazine

Another first in this household (who knew Rachel Ray would be introducing so many firsts to me?), I've never served polenta.  Well, I take that back.... I tried a long time ago, but the only polenta I could find was the kind in the tube that looks like cut and bake cookies.  It was... um, weird.  And I didn't even bother to serve it to the family because I knew they wouldn't touch it.  But I saw a cooking show once that talked about instant polenta (which is basically corn meal), so I thought I'd give that one a try.

It was so yummy that I'm hooked.  Granted, what made is so yummy, namely heavy cream and lots of cheese, isn't so figure-friendly, so I'm going to have to watch how often I serve it up.  But wow, it was delicious!  I even had the leftovers for my lunch today and served cold bits of it to Ava for breakfast.  She gobbled it up.

Abe really liked this recipe, polenta and all.  I suspect that it's very similar in flavor to a chicken pot pie, minus the crust.  Just creamy and yummy and good.  And like all of the 20 dinners, it came together in a snap.

The fontina can be found in the deli cheese area.  It melts down into a cream, so it's perfect for something like this.  It adds a wonderful flavor, too.

Creamy Chicken with Soft Polenta
  
1 onion, minced 
3 tbsp. butter 
10 oz. sliced cremini (or baby bella or button mushrooms)
2 tbsp. flour 
1 1/2 cups heavy cream 
2 cups Roasted Squash, chopped 
1 1/2 cups Pulled Chicken 
1 cup peas 
Salt and pepper 
1 cup instant polenta
1 cup fontina cheese, chopped

In 12-inch skillet, cook onion in 2 tbsp. butter. Add mushrooms and cook until tender. Stir in flour for 1 minute. Pour in 1 1/4 cups cream and simmer 2 minutes. Stir in squash, chicken and peas; season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Cook polenta in 3 1/2 cups boiling water with 1/2 tsp salt until thickened, 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup cream, 1 tbsp. butter and fontina until smooth. Serve chicken over polenta.

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